Saturday, March 05, 2005


The other day while shopping at the IperCoop, we heard several couples speaking English. During the summer this is normal, when the tourists from England and America come for a week or a month and need to stock their kitchens. To hear so many people speaking English at this time of the year was kind of surprising.

As we made our way through the store, Art and I went in different directions sometimes as we looked for various items. While I was finishing up in the produce section, Art moved on to another area, and by the time I caught up with him, he was talking to another couple….obviously Americans.

Introductions were made all around, and we found Paul and Patty to be friendly and interesting. As teachers and administrators at international schools, they’ve lived all over the world, most recently in Jakarta, I think. In the summer they’ll leave for a new school in Morocco.

They own a house in San Terenziano, which isn’t very far from us. Apparently they bought the house five years ago, and have taken this year off to relax and enjoy Italy. Art mentioned that our friends Larry and Jill had done the same thing, and we soon discovered that Paul and Patty are from Seattle too. Somehow, people from Seattle (and San Francisco) seem to migrate to Italy in unusually large numbers.

We chatted for a while, then exchanged phone numbers, along with a plan to get together for lunch next week. As we left the store, I thought about the coincidence that as our friends Jill and Larry prepare to return to the states, two new people appear in our life. Certainly they won’t take the place of Jill and Larry, but who can ever have too many friends…especially when you’re strangers in a strange land. Sometimes just the familiarity of having a conversation in English is comforting. We look forward to getting to know Paul and Patty better over the coming months….until they leave in July, anyway! Well, we won’t think about that just yet.


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